Creating a map in 3ds max

Discussion in 'Tutorials & Resources' started by Tenthirteen, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Tenthirteen

    Tenthirteen L1: Registered

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    Hello all!

    First off, since this is my post here, allow me to salute you all. You have a great forum going on here. Hopefully I'll find some answers and provide some back as well.

    So here's what bugs me right now. I have this idea for a Source Film Maker based short movie. With this in mind, I need to model a very, very simple map, consisting just of one room and very few props. Since I'm a 3ds max user, I would like to use this to model my room rather than start learning Hammer from the ground up.
    So my questions are as follows. Can I use 3ds max to build the main geometry add some textures and then bring the whole scene over into Hammer and add the remaining textures and shaders so I can use it for my SFM movie?
    If so, is there any transfer plugin from 3ds max to Hammer? Do I have to use Maple 3d's Convexity exporter or I should just respect basic convexity rules and that should be enough?
    Also, I found these tutorials, which seem geared more at Half Life. Can I use these to approach modeling my map in 3ds max? These are the tutorials I'm talking about:
    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL67F67F1FD048CCEC
    Any tips greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Tarry H Sruman

    Tarry H Sruman Large Orphanage Proprietor

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    In other engines, most notably Unreal, the bulk of the map is built with meshes. BSP geometry is only used as the very bare shell of the map, and maps are sometimes made entirely in Maya or Max and then imported into the engine for lighting/game logic/etc.

    Hammer does not support this kind of workflow since in Source the vast majority of things are made using BSP geometry, with props scattered about for detail/gameplay purposes. Source does not have a system for applying textures to models in-editor, so you would have to do all that texturing on your own.
     
  3. Tenthirteen

    Tenthirteen L1: Registered

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    OK. I know about BSP...I know of it at least. Anyway. So should I apply all the textures from withing MAX? How does Hammer work with the textures in the game. Say, if you want to add a new model (whatever, a wall, stair, etc.) how would you add a texture to that in Hammer?
     
  4. Tenthirteen

    Tenthirteen L1: Registered

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    Meaning, I don't think I understood exactly what you wanted to say. Sorry. :)
     
  5. LeSwordfish

    aa LeSwordfish semi-trained quasi-professional

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    Hammer uses two different things to make its levels. Props- say, a chair- and Brushes- say, a wall. Most everything is made with brushes, which you can texture in hammer. Props are made in a modelling program and must be textured seperately.

    You COULD make a map in a modelling program,- as in, it's all one big prop/lots of medium props- but source is REALLY not designed for it. You'd get wierdness all over the place, particularly in lighting.
     
  6. duppy

    duppy L1: Registered

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    If you're just making a simple room with a few props, I don't see why you can't create the basic BSP geometry in Hammer, and then create all your props in 3dsmax. Hammer isn't that complicated, especially compared to 3dsmax...you should be able to learn the basics in a day or two. Most of it's just creating cubes, scaling them, rotating them, clipping them, and applying textures. If you have anything more complicated than stuff like walls, floor/ceiling, make it in 3dsmax and import it into hammer as a prop...that's probably the hardest part though, figuring out how to get your 3dsmax model into a Source engine SMD/MDL file.

    The Valve Developer Wiki says you can create models with a maximum of about 10k polys, but you can have thousands of them scattered throughout your map, so I don't see why you can't treat it somewhat like the Unreal engine map workflow that Tarry mentioned above. I have no experience doing that myself, so maybe there are down sides to doing it that way.

    BTW, the Source SDK has plugins for Google Sketchup which allow you to create BSP geometry (exported to VMF which is what Hammer loads), and also prop models (exported to SMD, which needs to be compiled into a MDL file). If there's a way to get your 3dsmax stuff into SketchUp, maybe you can use SketchUp just for converting file formats.
     
  7. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    Dark Souls does all their level design in 3DSMax, for example. (If anyone cared for a reference)
     
  8. Tenthirteen

    Tenthirteen L1: Registered

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    Hey guys,

    Thanks to all of you for your suggestions. I've started doing some Hammer tutorials and so far it all looks cool. The room / space I want to design has a slanted wall and ceiling. The ceiling has overlapping beams. Would the Source engine protest if I were to overlap brush geometry (beam passing through another beam) or the map will compile fine as long as I have no openings?
    Also. How can I add in say "L" shaped beams?
    Again. Thanks a million for your assistance!
     
  9. Tenthirteen

    Tenthirteen L1: Registered

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    Oops looks like I double posted, can someone delete the duplicate please?
     
  10. Tarry H Sruman

    Tarry H Sruman Large Orphanage Proprietor

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    Geometry intersecting doesn't cause any problems with compiling. If you have faces that overlap you'll get Z fighting, which is ugly but doesn't affect your map.
     
  11. PoignardAzur

    PoignardAzur L2: Junior Member

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    You can, it's in the editing option, if I'm right.
     
  12. Fish 2.0

    Fish 2.0 L6: Sharp Member

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    Technically large amounts of it may affect performance however by drawing multiple faces in one place.

    But really, no, it doesn't matter.